How To Elevate Your Fashion Basics With Fine Jewelry
NET-A-PORTER’s fine-jewelry and watches editor CHARLIE BOYD decodes the best ways to enhance your everyday wardrobe heroes with precious jewels and timepieces
Team the classic white shirt with a contemporary chain
“Signature basics, like the white tee or a boyfriend shirt, are timeless staples – they may look simple, but it’s how you wear and style them that takes them to the next level,” says Libby Page, senior market editor at NET-A-PORTER. “Adding an open shirt to a white vest or styling it with a gold chain can immediately turn this straightforward piece into a fashion look.” Consider Anita Ko for a barely-there style, try Lauren Rubinski’s chunky, 14-karat chains for maximum impact, or Foundrae for interchangeable medallion styles. Those seeking something extra-special should look to Marie Lichtenberg for chains with colorful lockets, each bearing a positive mantra or meaningful message.
Enhance a slip dress with modern pearls
“The slip dress is a hero of ’90s dressing, and its simplicity is what makes it classic yet impactful – a versatile item that can easily be transformed from a casual daytime look into a sultry evening outfit,” explains Page. Pearl earrings will add instant polish to a simple silhouette – anything from Mizuki’s oversized orbs and shoulder-grazing styles to Sophie Bille Brahe’s designs with contemporary charm – seek out her opulent clusters and long, lustrous lines. When wearing pearls, you don’t need to add too much else into the mix – stick to sleek and simple precious metals, such as slender bangles that can be stacked up the wrist.
Update timeless tailoring with a #neckmess
“Tailoring from heritage brands that we can buy now and wear forever is always a great investment, as it retains its value over time,” says Page. “We love tailored outerwear pieces, such as Bottega Veneta’s double-breasted wool-blend coat, or a great blazer, like Saint Laurent’s tuxedo-style wool design – they feel especially modern when paired with layers of fine necklaces.” The ‘neckmess’ trend has dominated for several seasons now, and embracing a more-is-more approach through mixing and matching as many styles as possible shows no sign of waning. “Delicate gold necklaces by Gucci, Jennifer Meyer, Kimaï and Melissa Joy Manning are ideal for a multi-layered look that will complement a smart suit,” suggests Page.
Pair a leather jacket with yellow gold
“One of the main themes that we’re backing this season is ‘black is back’ – a simpler sartorial approach following many seasons of the colorful ‘dopamine-dressing’ trend,” says Page. “This is where the humble black leather jacket can really come into its own, delivering an evergreen piece that can serve as the perfect tough canvas for bright-gold jewelry.” Fernando Jorge, Spinelli Kilcollin and Yvonne Léon offer gold chains that tap into the long-link trend du jour, while a signet ring will add a gleaming accent near the cuff – consider State Property, L’Atelier Nawbar and Jade Trau.
Complement a sweater with special jewels
“Low-key luxury is another dominant trend for 2022, and a basic crew neck or cashmere sweater can feel epecially luxe when paired with symbolic jewels,” says Page. There is an element of comfort dressing here, too – combining easy, relaxed pieces with fine jewels that have special meaning can create a go-to uniform when you need no-fuss dressing. “We are seeing many mood-lifting pieces with beautiful semi-precious stones, compelling mottos and talismanic charms,” says Page, who cites personalized pieces, bespoke crystals and motivational jewels as some of this season’s bestsellers. Azlee, Cece Jewellery and Marlo Laz are the gurus of meaningful symbolism, while Storrow offers changeable charms with antique charm.
Wear a fine timepiece with denim
“Fine timepieces tend to be a highly considered and occasional purchase, so it makes sense to select a watch that you can wear all day, every day – and this means finding a style that will work with your denim,” says Page. A classic timepiece from a prestigious watchmaking maison, such as Cartier’s ‘Panthère de Cartier’ or the ‘Heure H’ by Hermès Timepieces, will always elevate a simple T-shirt worn with jeans, or look chic peeking out from the sleeve of a denim jacket. For truly versatile styling, select a watch with a changeable strap – we love laCalifornienne’s ‘Daybreak’ watch – its hand-painted stripes in monochrome, or a rainbow of candy colors, can be coordinated to your outfit in one quick click.
The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown